Furzebray Lakes has produced its first 40-pounder and one Devon’s biggest fish in the shape of ‘Charlotte’ at 41lb 12oz.
Motorbike racer Ryan Pryer caught the new personal best just three days after coming out of hospital following a knee reconstruction.
The 21-year-old, who lives 10 minutes from the South Molton venue, said: “It wasn’t until I tried to lift it out of the water and could barely move it that I realised it was a special fish. I was absolutely over the moon – I was speechless.”
Ryan hooked the mirror on the second day of a 48-hour session after spotting fish in a shallow area of the lake. He said: “I started up in peg 10 where I had seen fish, but a couple of hours later the wind changed and the fish had clearly moved down to pegs one and two.
“I went for a look and saw peg one was free and there must’ve been about 20 fish in the area, so I moved my gear down there. After putting a bit of bait out, the swim was quiet for the next 24 hours so I rested it for a couple of hours while I had a doctor’s appointment and came back to see lots of fish including a couple of real chunks with their backs out of the water.”
Ryan cast a bare lead to the far bank before walking round, attaching his hooklink and gently lobbing a small PVA bag of crumbed boilies on to a shallow spot, surrounded by a scattering of whole baits.
“The swans were a nightmare and about three hours later I was debating whether to reel in when the bobbin flew up and the rod bent right round,” he said.
“I was absolutely amazed when I got it in and over the moon with a new PB.”
The fish fell to Furzebray Lake’s own-brand boilies fished KD style on a lead-clip system.